When fans look back at the 2016 football season in Los Angeles, they’re likely first frame of reference will be Los Angeles High’s California Interscholastic Federation Division II City Section title victory against traditional power Hawkins. When they leaf through the City Section history book a year from now, it’ll look a bit different.
On Friday morning, CIF City Section Commissioner John Aguirre ruled Hawkins would forfeit all games it played during the 2016 season as a result of rules violations that include the use of multiple ineligible players. The school’s football program will also be placed on a two-year probationary period as a result of the ruling as well.
The official wipeout of Hawkins’ achievements follow an end of season bombshell after the 2016 playoffs when the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) dismissed the Hawkins principal, assistant principal responsible for athletics and coach Malik James and his entire staff because of the issues with ineligible players.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, James’ departure has precipitated a mass exodus by the program’s most talented and sought after players. In that way, the most significant damage to Hawkins’ program writ large had probably already come.
Officially, this is where the hammer dropped. Considering the fact that Hawkins had just emerged from probation from another eligibility incident entering the 2016 campaign, it may take some time for the program to regain the luster its lost … again.